The international entrepreneur

From experience to action

Authored by: Svante Andersson

The Routledge Companion to International Entrepreneurship

Print publication date:  December  2014
Online publication date:  December  2014

Print ISBN: 9780415829199
eBook ISBN: 9780203517161
Adobe ISBN: 9781134096398


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International entrepreneurship has emerged as a growing independent field in the interface between entrepreneurship and international business research areas. One reason for the emergence of the field is that international business theories and entrepreneurship theories independent and alone do not seem able to explain phenomena such as international new ventures, that is “business organisations that from inception seek to derive significant competitive advantage from the use of resources and the sale of outputs in multiple countries” (Oviatt and McDougall, 1994, p. 49). These firms grow rapidly in foreign markets from inception. Despite significant research output in recent decades on international new ventures (also referred to as “born globals”) (for reviews, see Jones et al., 2011; Keupp and Gassman, 2009; Rialp et al., 2005), there still remains a deficit on research focusing on the individual entrepreneur’s influence on the international new venture’s (INV’s) international development. Research has shown that entrepreneurs’ capabilities and personal networks are crucial for rapid international expansion in INVs (Andersson and Wictor, 2003; Evers et al., 2012; Madsen and Servais, 1997). This contradicts mainstream international business research, which does not focus on the entrepreneur/manager as a strategic actor affecting international performance and behavior. The eclectic paradigm explains international business in terms of ownership advantages, location advantages, and internalization (Dunning, 1988), while the Uppsala school focuses on organizational learning (Johanson and Vahlne, 1977, 1990). These theories assume that managers are either rational maximizers or behaviorally oriented individuals who are part of strong networks and/or strong firm or industry cultures.

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